I went through a very difficult process when we sold my childhood home, the home that I grew up in and my father’s favorite place in the world.
It was not an easy thing to do, as I had so many memories made there while growing up. The property had been in our family for over twenty years.
It’s funny how a place can mean so much, even though it’s just a physical place in the world. However, we can take those memories, experiences, love and the things that were created wherever we go.
I remember going through the items at the house, deciding what to keep, what was going where, who was going to get what and all the other things that you typically do before you sell a home.
I came across many old pictures, letters and keepsakes from growing up. It’s amazing how good my hair looked at one point, but the size of my jeans was ridiculous during the skater phase in middle school!
It was a very emotional process as my family and I were detaching and disengaging from our old home. My father passed away in this house a few years prior, which made it even harder to let go.
My father was my best friend and the most amazing person I’ve ever met. He was a man of such integrity, compassion and charisma—all of the values that you look for in a father, a leader and a mentor. I miss my dad each and every day, but his memory and legacy endures and lives on.
As I was going through some old boxes, I found a box with a bunch of letters from when I was in prison for a tragic boat accident. There were letters from friends, my core group from high school, my mother and my brother.
There were the regular letters from my father too. He was my biggest supporter, even when I didn’t deserve one.
As I was going through his letters, I found a card that he had sent me shortly after I had been faced with the denial of being released. I was completely dejected and distraught for a few weeks, not knowing how I was going to muster the courage to face things and move on so I could make it through.
I found the card and the message that my dad sent me at that critical juncture in my life, and I was immediately floored emotionally. The card said…
“Don’t count time, make time count.”
Think about that for a minute. Time is such an interesting concept, it is finite and our most valuable resource. It is something we judge things in our lives against, and I was just simply waiting.
I was counting the days, minutes and seconds until I was going to be able to essentially start over and have a new chance and lease on life. I wanted to do something different, special and purposeful with my life.
But that wasn’t the right way of looking at it. My dad made me able to understand this. You see, we have a unique ability, no matter where we are or what circumstances we face or how hard our current situation is, to seize the opportunity and make the most of our current circumstances with positivity, purpose and gratitude, no matter how difficult or bleak our circumstances are.
There are people across the world who live in such poverty that it can make you sick to your stomach to see how they live.
However, some of these very people are the happiest in the world. They have chosen the mindset of being present, loving and supportive of their family despite the circumstances.
Don’t count time, make time count.
I took this encouragement and this wisdom for my father and ran with it. I doubled down on my inner workings and focused on growing as much as I could while I was away.
I wanted to be in the best health of my life, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
So I want to leave you with this thought and lesson today. Let’s not count down the days, let’s not gauge our goals simply on the spectrum of time. Let’s stop counting down the days until we will be happy, until we will be successful, thinking if we just hit these goals the rest of the world will fall into place for us.
Stop doing all of that, and let’s simply make time count and work for us, putting every bit of energy, focus and determination into the moments that we’re so fortunate to have on this earth.
Let’s not take any moment, day or opportunity for granted. Let’s tell the people that we love we love them more and more each day, and let’s make sure they know and never forget.
Let’s put purpose and meaning back into our actions in our lives, rather than sometimes simply walking through them vacantly.
“Don’t count time, make time count!” —Mark Weimer (1949-2016)
The card said … Don’t count time, make time count. Wow! Powerful. Think about that for a minute. Time is such an interesting concept, more finite and a valuable resource. It is something we judge things in our lives against, and I was just simply waiting.
Take time today to tell the ones you love how much you appreciate them. Think about a world where the ones you love most are gone. How would you feel? Every moment counts with the ones you love.
Who did you show how much you love them? How did you make time count today?